The good, the bad and the ugly December 21, 2013Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: breast cancer, breastfeeding, cancer, healthcare, nursing, weaning
Who wants to hear good news? Let’s get a show of hands . . . . . .alrighty then, I’ll get right to the point. The MRI results were good. The right side and lymph showed no abnormalities. The lymph on the left side also showed no abnormalities. The only thing on the left side were the two masses we already knew about. Let me state that another way: there was nothing new on the left side. Shall I say it again, cuz it’s huge? There was nothing new on the left side! The masses weren’t larger than they thought, and there were still only two tumors. I had been worried that they’d find cancer on the right side (especially since lobular cancers are prone to presenting on both sides), and that they’d find that the tumors were much bigger than anticipated and that they’d find more. What an enormous relief to find out that there was NOTHING NEW! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! My dad was VERY happy to hear that the Lord had answered his prayer with a resounding “Yes!”
The fact that there aren’t any more tumors and that they are small and close together also means that I’m apparantly a candidate for a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy. I was definitely surprised, especially since lobular cancers are harder to deal with in a lumpectomy. But, when they discussed my case at tumor board, all of the members were quite excited to have this option. The real decision regarding whether or not I have a mastectomy will come when I get the results from the genetic testing. (I’ll talk more about that in another post.)
The bad and the ugly
I knew that weaning to toddler was very close on the horizon. Obviously, nursing would be contra-indicated in the event I need chemo therapy as well as once I get started on the anti-estrogen therapy. I thought I could probably keep nursing until just before chemo would begin, which is probably two months out. When the NP said, “You’ll need to stop nursing before the surgery. The surgeon wants to start you on a medication to dry up the milk today.” I was totally blindsided. I put up a meager fight, explaining that the Little Boss would probably have a total meltdown. Rick put up a stronger fight with better reasons. So we compromised: he has to be weaned by next Friday or else I’ll need to start the medicine. So I have ONE WEEK to wean him. Yeah, it’s going to be ugly. It already was ugly last night, and I totally caved. But in my defense, I’ve pretty much been gone all week and haven’t gotten to spend much time at all with the babes, especially my super velcro baby supreme. After he had been crying for half an hour, I went into the room (I’d been sleeping on the couch) and picked him up . . . he snuggled right up to me. He didn’t even actually want any milk, just some love. I’m hoping we’ll have better luck tonight, but I do expect there to be lots of crying from the little guy. In all honesty, I think he’ll be fine and I think he knows something is up. He’s been eating TONS of solids (hooray) and has figured out how to drink out of a regular cup, a sippy cup and even my more complicated water bottle. So, he’s not going to starve, it’s just going to be hard for him at night time. *sigh* But, I do know that it’s necessary. Operating on a lactating breast is not a good idea because a)it’s harder to see what is going on and b)there’s a possibility for a milk fistula (a hole in the body where it doesn’t belong), neither of which would be good.
So there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. There are two more places in the process where we could get bad news: the pathology of the lymph could come back showing malignancy and the PET scan could show cancer cells in other parts of the body. But, for now, we are focusing on the good news and reveling in it. Happy dance!